A High Court judge yesterday declared war on suppliers of traditional Chinese medicine who sell products containing parts of endangered species. Mr Justice Raymond Sears said the Judiciary had been wrongly accused of not doing enough to protect animals at risk of extinction. Magistrates had every right to jail people who dealt in traditional remedies containing illicit products, he warned. 'This sort of activity is allied to the trade in animal parts and judges must stop it.' It was important to protect endangered species and substantial sentences, including prison terms, would be imposed on those who broke the rules. The judge told bankrupt businessman Kong Chi-yue, 42, that he had to be prepared to go to jail if he could not afford to pay a $120,000 fine for possessing illegal products at his shop in Ma On Shan. When Kong's lawyer claimed this would have an adverse effect on his client's two young sons, the judge said: 'He should have thought about that before he set up in this business.' Jill Robinson, of the International Fund For Animal Welfare, welcomed the judge's tough stand. She hoped the warning would help stop the trade. Mr Justice Sears said he could not understand how anyone could think that consuming a piece of tiger bone would do them good. 'Unfortunately this is the culture in Hong Kong . . . that must be stopped,' he said. Kong was fined $250,000 at Sha Tin Court in October when he admitted possessing 17 grams of pangolin scales, 300 grams of elephant scraps, musk pods and other illicit products. He appealed against the penalty, claiming he did not have enough money to pay the fine. Paul Tong, for Kong, said his client had only been running the shop for two months before being arrested. He was trying to make money for his family and had not realised that by possessing the animal products he was breaking the law. Kong's business had now collapsed and he was left struggling with debts. 'He is broke. He has no money at all,' Mr Tong said. The judge reduced Kong's fine to $120,000 because the magistrate had failed to consider his ability to pay. But he rejected a request by Kong to be given five years in which to find the money. The judge said he would have to go to prison for two months if he failed to pay the fine by early July. Mr Justice Sears came under fire last month for quashing a prison term imposed on a chemist for selling 'tiger bone' medicine. He said yesterday that judges had a duty to consider the criminality involved in each case and it was quite wrong to view this as a failure to protect endangered species.